Barbara and I walked in the park after dark, hand in hand. The gravel paths shimmered from the moon, and the moon’s twin floated in the flat creek. The voices of other walkers were muffled by the warm air.
The trees stood stories high in a slight wind. Long after we might have eased our hands apart to walk quicker we slowed still more and held hands tighter. I thought of Loran Helm saying: “in the Kingdom, when you feel like things are too slow, slow down.” The night felt easy in our hands and it was easy to talk.
Some summer nights say “Don’t think about the trees or the moon. Talk about small things known only to the two of you. Talk about secrets.”
Later, as we lay together at midnight, I whispered those words in her ear, and she pulled my hand down to feel the baby just then rustle like the night wind behind her belly button.
At dusk I don’t know how to live these days. What do summer nights leave behind that is permanent? All my life I’ve seen aging people hope their children will be their legacy, and I’ve pitied them, for children are so often disappointing. The pressure of concern about a legacy can stomp the mustard seeds from which all treasures bloom. Slow down, slow down, feel the baby shift so slightly toward the great wide world.
There can be children and poetry on the same summer night, spoken in the same tongue.